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Departure from Liverpool.

representa

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

London, February 18, 1862. (Received February 19.) MY LORD: I have the honor to submit to your consideration the copy of an extract of a letter addressed to me by the consul of the United States at Liverpool, going to show the preparation at that port of an armed steamer evidently intended for hostile operations on the ocean. From the evidence furnished in the names of the persons stated to be concerned in her con- tion by Mr. Adania struction and outfit, I entertain little doubt that the intention is precisely that indicated in the letter of the consul, the carrying on war against the United States. The parties are the same which dispatched the Bermada, laden with contraband of war at the time, in August last, when I had the honor of calling your lordship's attention to her position, which vessel then succeeded in running the blockade, and which now appears to be about again to depart on a like errand.

Should further evidence to sustain the allegations respecting the Oreto be held necessary to effect the object of securing the interposition of Her Majesty's government, I will make an effort to procure it in a more formal manner.

I have, &c.,
(Signed)

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS.

[Inclosure in No. i.)

Mr. Dudley to Mr. Adams.

Statement of consui Dudley.

UNITED STATES CONSULATE,

Lirerpool, February 17, 1862. Sir: The gun-boat Oreto is still at this port. She is making a trial trip in the river to-day. No armament as yet on board. She has put up a second smokestack since I wrote you. She therefore has two funnels, three masts, and is bark-rigged. I am now informed that she is to carry eight rifled cannon, and two long swivel-guns on pivots so arranged as to rake both fore and aft. No pains or expense has been spared in her construction, and when fully armed she will be a formidable and dangerous craft, in strength and armament quite equal to the Tuscarora; so I should judge from what I learn.

Mr. Miller, who built the bull, says he was employed by Fawcett, Preston & Co., and that they own the vessel.' I have obtained information from many different sources, all of which goes to show that she is intended for the southern confederacy. I am satistied that this is the case. She is ready to take her arms on board. I cannot learn whether they are to be shipped here or at some other port. Of course she is inbended as a privateer. When she sails it will be to burn and destroy whatever sho meets with bearing the American flag.

[2] *The Herald sailed for Charleston on Saturday last; Captain Coxeter went ont

in her. The Bermuda will sail this week.
I have, &c.,
(Signed)

H. DUDLEY, United States Consul. P. S.—The gun-carriages for the Oreto, I have just learned, were taken on board on Friday night last, in a rough state, and taken down in the hold. Frazer, Trenholm & Co. have made advances to Fawcett, Preston & Co., and Miller, the builder.

H. D.

No. 2.

Mr. Hammond to the secretary to the treasury.

Immediate inquiries to be made.

[Immediate.)

FOREIGN OFFICE, February 19, 1862. SIR: I am directed by Earl Russell to transmit to you a copy of a let

ter from Mr. Adams, inclosing an extract of a letter from

the United States consul at Liverpool, in which he calls attention to a steam-vessel called the Oreto, reported to be fitting out at Liverpool as a southern privateer; and I am to request that you will move the lords commissioners of Her Majesty's treasury to cause immediate inquiries to be made respecting this vessel, and to take such steps in the matter as may be right and proper.

I am, &c.,
(Signed)

E. HAMMOND.

No. 3.

Earl Russell to Mr. Adams.

FOREIGN OFFICE, February 19, 1862. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of yesterday's date calling the attention of Her Majesty's government to a steam-vessel now fitting out at Liverpool, which you state it is believed is about to be dispatched with a view of making war against the people of the United States; and I have to acquaint you that I have lost no time in communicating with the proper department of Her Majesty's government on this subject.

I am, &c.,
(Signed)

RUSSELL,

No. 4.

lli. Hamilton to Ur. Hammond.

TREASURY CHAMBERS,

February 24, 1862. (Received May 24.) SIR: I ain directed by the lords commissioners of Her Majesty's

treasury to transmit herewith, for the information of Earl

Russell—with reference to your letter of the 19th instantcopy of a report of the commissioners of customs, dated 22d instant,

2 No. 1.

Report from <us. totis

relative to the steamer Oreto, stated, in a communication from the United States consul, to be fitting up at Liverpool as a southern privateer.

I am, &c.,
(Signed)

GEO. A. HAMILTON.

(Iucloaure in No. 4.!

The commissioners of customs to the lords commissioners of the treasury.

CUSTOM-HOUSE, February 22, 1862. Your lordships baving referred to us the annexed letter from Mr. Hammond, trans

mitting, by desire of Earl Russell, copy of a letter from Mr. Adams, inclosing an (3] *extract of a communication from the United States consul at Liverpool, in

which he calls attention to a steam-vessel called the Oreto reported to be fitting out at Liverpool as a southern privateer, and requesting that immediate inquiries may be made respecting this vessel, We report

That, on the receipt of your lordships' reference, we forth with instructed our collector at Liverpool to make inquiries in regard to the vessel Oreto, and it appears from his report that she has been built by Messrs. Miller & Sons for Messrs. Fawcett, Preston & Co., engineers, of Liverpool, and is intended for the use of Messrs. Thomas Brothers, of Palermo, one of that firm having frequently visited the vessel during the process of building.

The Oreto is pierced for four guns; but she has, as yet, taken nothing on board but coals and ballast. She is not, at present, fitted for the reception of guns, nor are the builders aware that she is to be supplied with guns while she remains in this country. The expense of her construction has been paid, and she has been handed over to Messrs. Fawcett & Preston. Messrs. Miller & Sons state their belief that her destination is Palermo, as they have been requested to recommend a master to take her to that port, and our collector at Liverpool states that he has for the Italian gove every reason to believe that the vessel is for the Italian government.

We beg further to add that special directions have been given to the officers at Liver-
pool to watch the movements of the vessel, and that we will not fail to report forth-
with any circumstance which may occur worthy of your lordships' cognizance.
(Signed)

THO. F. FREMANTLE.
GRENVILLE C. L. BERKELEY.

Vessel said to be

ernment.

No. 5.

Earl Russell to Mr. Adams.

Copy of customs report forwarded to Mr. Adams.

FOREIGN OFFICE, February 26, 1862. Sir: With reïerence to my letter of the 19th instant, on the subject of the steamer Oreto, which was believed, from reports you had received, to be fitting out at Liverpool with a view to acting mort hostilely against the people of the United States, I have the bonor to transmit to you herewith a copy of a letter from the commissioners of customs to the lords commissioners of Her Majesty's treasury,' reporting the result of the investigations which they had caused to be instituted with regard to the vessel in question.

I am, &r.,
(Signed)

RUSSELL.

Inclosure in No. 4.

prepared under similar circumstances to concede, and entertaining full confidence in the disposition of Her Majesty's ministers on their part to act to the utmost of their ability in the same spirit, I pray, &c.,

I (Signed)

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS.

[Inclosure in No. 8.)

Mr. Dudley to Mr. Adams.

UNITED STATES CONSULATE,

Liverpool, March 22, 1862. SIR: The Oreto is still in the river. A flat-boat has taken part of her armament to her. A part of the crew of the steamer Annie Childs, wbich came to this port loaded with cotton, have just left my office. They tell me that Captain Bullock is to command the Oreto, and that four other officers for this vessel came over with them in the Childs. The names of three are Young, Low, and Maffet or Moffit, the fourth was called Eddy; the two first are lieutenants, and the two last-named midshipmen. They further state that these officers during the voyage wore naval uniforms; that they came on the Childs at a place called Smithville, some twenty miles down the river from Wilmington; that it was talked about and understood by all on board that their object in coming was to take command of this vessel, which was being built in England for the southern confederacy. They further state that it was understood in Wilmington, before they left, that several war-vessels were being built in England for the South, As they were coming up the river in the Childs, as they passed the Oreto, she dipped her flag to the Childs. I have had this last from several sources, and the addition al fact that the same evening, after the arrival of this steamer, a dinner was given in the Oreto to the officers who caine over in the Childs. I understand she will make diroet for Madeira and Nassau.

I have, &c.,
(Signed)

THOMAS H. DUDLEY.

No. 9.

Mr. Hammond to the secretary to the treasury.

The vessel to be

detained if any

by foreign en listment act corerede

FOREIGN OFFICE, March 26, 1862. Sir: With reference to your letter of the 24th ultimo, I am directed

by Earl Russell to transmit to you a copy of a further letter vigilantis watched, addressed by the United States consul at Liverpool to Mr. armatuent prohibited Adams, United States minister for foreign affairs,' in which

is dis it is again affirmed that the Oreto is being fitted out as a

vessel of war for the southern confederacy, and various statements are reported in support of that assertion.

I am to request that you will lay the letter of the United States consul before the lords commissioners of Her Majesty's treasury, and move their lordships to instruct the commissioners of customs to give directions that the Oreto may be vigilantly watched, and that if any armament prohibited by the foreign enlistment act is discovered, the vessel may be at once detained.

It would appear certain that the Oreto is not intended for service either in Italy or Sicily.

I am, &c.,
(Signed)

E. HAMMOND.

Iuclosure in No.8.

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